The Union College volleyball team will begin their 2015 campaign in the same spot they ended their 2014 season – on top of the Appalachian Athletic Conference.
On Monday night, the conference announced the 2015 Volleyball Preseason Poll, and Union came out on top in the ranking after garnering 94 total points. The total put the Bulldogs in a tie for first with rival Bryan (Tenn.), although Union did receive more first place votes in the poll (five to four).
The Bulldogs, who are led into the season by third year head coach Jeremy Wise, come into the 2015 season off a banner 2014 year that saw the team finish with a 30-10 record. Union also captured the 2014 AAC Tournament, along with an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championship Opening Round. Both were accomplished by the Bulldogs for the first time since the 2010 season.
Top returnees for the team include senior Ana Calaza, the two-time defending AAC Libero of the Year and a two-time All-AAC First Team selection, along with sophomore Rachel Andrews, who was an All-AAC First Team performer in his first year in the program in 2014.
In all, Union returns 15 student-athletes from last year’s team, adding nine newcomers to the roster to round out the 2015 group.
Union will open their 2015 campaign on August 28, when they take on both Cumberlands (Ky.) and IU-Southeast at the Lindsey Wilson Tournament in Columbia, Kentucky. The Bulldogs’ first home match inside Robsion Arena is set for September 8 against AAC-foe Milligan (Tenn.).